KHALED & FRIENDS , Ya-Rayi: NEW ALBUM & NORTH AMERICAN TOUR 2005

Published June 12th, 2005 - 06:24 GMT

Khaled—one of the greatest singers in the Middle East, in fact the entire Arab world—releases a landmark album and tours the US this summer with Grammy-winning producers, musicians, singers: Don Was, KC Porter, Elan, Walfredo Reyes Jr, Cheb i Sabbah, Luis Conte, and more surprise guests to be announced in each city.  June 26th through July 16th, 2005.

PEACE THROUGH MUSIC, LOVE TO THE PEOPLE

The King has returned! Khaled, one of the most distinctive voices in world music and a pioneer and transformer of Algerian raï, is back with A BRAND NEW US VERSION of YA-RAYI, the most exciting album of his celebrated career.

As released in France last year, Ya-Rayi was already a great album; after all, it garnered him a BBC Award for World Music for the Middle East and North Africa.  But the US version is a marked improvement, not only because the music has been re-mastered, re-edited, re-sequenced, and in the case of the title track, partially re-tracked, but because one of the most dynamic songs on the album was recorded especially for this release.  Legendary producer Don Was (Rolling Stones, Bonnie Raitt) mixed the new version of the song “Ya-Rayi” with Khaled in Los Angeles in December, and during that visit, Khaled worked with another Grammy-winning producer, KC Porter (Santana, Ricky Martin), to create two, stellar, bonus tracks: “Love to the People” in both English and Arabic versions.  “Love to the People” was co-produced by award winning, Arab–North African music producer Dawn Elder, also the executive producer for the US version of Ya-Rayi.  “Love to the People” marks the first time Khaled has sung in both English and Arabic, and the song finds him blending his voice with the smooth, reggae vocals of Elan, an interweaving with soaring guitar work from Carlos Santana.

This landmark Khaled recording moves easily from funky, danceable rhythms to pop, balladry, and plenty of hardcore raï,  On the funky side, “Ya-Rayi” bristles with the brassy punch only producer Don Was—a proven Khaled collaborator—can deliver.  The song also reunites Khaled with tenor saxophonist David Mc Murray who played on previous hits like "Didi” and “Walou Walou.”  Backed by The Orchestra of Cairo and a tight, swanky brass section, cranking numbers like “Ya Galbi” and “Lemem” Khaled delivers rich, contemporary raï, as grand and moody as any the king has produced yet.  “H’Mama” is an emotive ballad, and “Hagdja,” a gorgeous raï waltz, features Khaled on accordion, a first in his international release catalogue. On “Mani Hani,” Khaled croons gloriously accompanied by veteran North African pianist Maurice Médioni.  “El Ghira” brings drama with its rich vocals and swooping Arab strings, while the Arabic version of “Love to the People” offers the perfect balance between Khaled’s voice and Carlos Santana’s signature guitar. From beginning to end, Ya-Rayi is a tour de force, Khaled’s most complete and satisfying work to date.

As always, Khaled sings about love and its complications: longing, loneliness, trust and betrayal, jealousy, and the pain of rejection.  Like the singer in the song “Ya-Rayi,” who is “blinded by beauty,” Khaled is possessed by visions of love.  In his music, love transcends the romantic realm to inhabit larger human, spiritual, and even political dimensions.  He is a true spokesman for love not only between people, but peoples, a radical idea in today’s sharply divided world.

Hot on the heels of the US release of Ya-Rayi, Khaled begins his first American tour since 2002.  Peace through Music, “Love to the People” is a truly cross-cultural encounter between musical greats. Performing with Khaled for the very first time live since they began working together, will be multi Grammy Award-winning producers Don Was, (bass, vocals) and KC Porter (piano, vocals).  Also sharing the microphone will be young reggae lion Elan, who cut his teeth with the mighty Wailers, http://www.elanmusic.com. (Elan is currently recording his solo debut album set to release on Interscope Records, produced by Tony Kanal of No Doubt). The rhythm section for the tour features Cuban drum sensation Walfredo Reyes, Jr.  http://www.walfredoreyesjr.com (Santana, Traffic, Steve Winwood, Celia Cruz) and Grammy-winning, Cuban master percussionist Luis Conte, www.luisconte.com (Santana, Madonna, Eric Clapton, Phil Collins).  At the turntable will be the Godfather of World DJs, Cheb i Sabbah,  www.chebisabbah.com (Six Degrees).  Together with Khaled’s usual band members, this once-in-a-lifetime ensemble includes some of the finest musicians in North Africa, Middle East and France.  Additional surprise guests are planned for each city on the tour.

With such a glittering line-up of talent, this concert event is a natural celebration of our diversity through the music. Khaled weaves all of these amazing musicians with such different backgrounds together, building one of the most dynamic tapestries and cross cultural music encounters of our day.  Each of the ten, three-hour concerts that make up the first leg of Khaled’s U.S. tour will be an event, giving every participant plenty of opportunity to shine.

Opening in Atlanta on June 29th, and closing in Detroit on July 16th, Khaled’s first tour in three years promises to be one of the musical highlights of 2005.  And the new US version of Ya-Rayi, with its soulful, irresistibly funky raï sound, is sure to figure high on critics’ “best of” lists this year.

Tour Dates:

JUNE 29th  VARIETY PLAYHOUSE   ATLANTA, GA
http://www.variety-playhouse.com


JULY 1ST LISNER AUDITORIUM   WASHINGTON, DC
http://www.lisner.org/
JULY 3RD  CENTRAL PARK   NEW YORK, NY

JULY 5TH  MONTREAL JAZZ FESIVAL  MONTREAL, CANADA
http://www.montrealjazzfest.com

JULY 8TH  GRAND PERFORMANCES  LOS ANGELES, CA
http://www.grandperformances.org/

JULY 10TH  STERN GROVE FESTIVAL  SAN FRANCISCO,
http://www.sterngrove.org


JULY 13TH  HOUSE OF BLUES   NEW ORLEANS, LA
http://www.hob.com

 

JULY 14TH  HOUSE OF BLUES   ORLANDO, FL
http://www.hob.com


JULY 16TH  CONCERT OF COLORS  DETROIT, MI
www.concertofcolors.com

***NOTE SPECIAL GUESTS VARY IN SELECT CITIES

***ADDITIONAL CITIES STILL TO BE ANNOUNCED AND FALL TOUR LINE UP-

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT DE Management –
805-963-2415
demgmt@aol.com
http://khaled-lesite.artistes.universalmusic.fr/


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